Shingle books trio for movie development

HOLLYWOOD — Fledgling financing and production shingle Cherry Road Films has acquired film rights to novels by Donald Westlake, Arthur Nersesian and Arnon Grunberg.

The three book options help round out the development slate. Company last month partnered with Warner Independent Pictures to create a development fund covering up to 10 projects a year.

It’s not clear if the three projects will be developed in concert with Warners. But the deals come as studios are slashing development costs and lit agents are shopping material to new production outlets bringing outside funds to studio films.

Westlake’s novel, “Money for Nothing,” is a spy comedy about a New York office temp who one day discovers he is a secret agent for a foreign country. Nersesian’s book, “Manhattan Loverboy,” is a surreal comedy about a New York man’s battle against a mysterious corporation. Grunberg’s “Saint Antonio,” about two Mexican brothers moving to Gotham with their mom, has been published in Holland, but not yet in the U.S.

The books were brought to Cherry Road by development head Tommaso Fiacchino.

“Though they are quite different from one another, these stories hew closely to our mission of making exciting, youth-oriented, thought-provoking films,” said Cherry Road chief operating officer Kendall Morgan, who co-founded Cherry Road with her half-brother, Bo Hyde, a former real estate and private equity investment strategist.

Cherry Road, which opened an L.A. office earlier this year, is in post-production on doc “Mail Order Bride,” produced with Hypnotic’s Doug Liman and David Bartis, and “Eulogy,” a Ray Romano comedy produced with Myriad Pictures and Ovation Entertainment.

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